A local authority in the UK this week unveiled a £2 million ($2.9 million) on-site solar power project.

Solar company LG Solar, which provided the photovoltaic (PV) panels for the project, said it represents the largest solar PV array installed by a local authority in the UK, and the first such project to include a battery energy storage solution.

London’s Borough of Hounslow is in the process of converting its Western International Market, a wholesale fresh produce and flower market, into a zero-carbon zone. To this end, the council has installed a 1.73 MW PV array (pictured) featuring 6069 x 285 W solar panels from LG Solar, plus four 60 kW Tesvolt lithium-ion batteries.

The market offers climate-controlled facilities to around 80 wholesalers and buyers, with an annual power demand of 3.5 MWh.  

The on-site solar system will generate around half of the site’s power, and is expected to contribute 2% toward the council’s carbon reduction target of 780 tonnes.

In addition, the installation is expected to save the Borough £148,000 per year. With the addition of the expected generation and export tariffs, LG Solar said the total savings could amount to £255,000 in the array’s first year of operation.

Charles Pipe, the Borough’s energy manager, said: ‘From the very beginning, this project has been about reducing our carbon footprint and making an investment for the future. But we have achieved so much more than that. Not only can we expect to see immediate savings on our electricity bills, but we are expecting to see a return on this investment in about five years.’

Bob Mills, UK Senior Solar Sales Manager for LG Solar, added: ‘This is LG’s largest solar panel installation in Europe and testament to Britain’s continued commitment to renewables. What’s more, the project has set the wheels in motion for further investment and research into the potential of battery storage, which is set to revolutionize the solar industry.’